1/76 Airfix Bedford QLD

Gallery Article by John Green on July 25 2012


At the end of 2010, Airfix released a new double kit of the Bedford QLD General Service Truck & QLT Troop Carrier.  Iíd seen mention of this kit during the year & had assumed that it would be just the rolling chassis & cab from their old QL refueller with new parts for the rear body.  When the kit appeared in my local model shop, however, I was pleased to find that it was a completely new tool & very nicely done too, with the exception of vast numbers of ejection pin marks on the chassis & body of both kits.  Most of these are underneath , but I elected to fill them on this QLD.  Fortunately, the marks are the same size as one of the punches in my Historex punch & die set, so I stamped out a number of 10 thou plasticard discs & glued them into the marks, sanding flat when dry. The only other problem which I encountered during construction was the fuel tank, which has a recessed end with engraved detail, but is split horizontally across this face, leaving a rather tricky filing & sanding job.

Once the bulk of construction was completed, it was time to consider a colour scheme.  Somewhat unimaginatively, Airfix suggest that both the QLD & QLT be finished in the late-war SCC15 Olive Drab & SCC14 Blue Black scheme.  I may well do the QLT in this scheme at some time in the future, but for the QLD I fancied something a little different & after flicking through Mike Starmerís various books, eventually decided on the late-1943 Middle East/Sicily/Italy scheme of Light Mud & Blue Black.  I sprayed everything with WEM Light Mud & then brush-painted the Blue Black using Revellís acrylic Anthracite.  To give a little contrast, I painted the tilt in a mix of Lifecolor Dunkelgelb & white to simulate bleached canvas, then used Vallejo Dark Rubber for the camo pattern. 

As regards markings, I used serial numbers from the kit decals, but then added unit markings for the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry from an Archer Fine Transfers sheet & a Starmerís Armour air recognition roundel on the cab roof. I have no idea whether the RWY ever had such a Bedford but they re-equipped with similarly painted Sherman IIIís in Palestine in the summer of 1943 & I thought it plausible that they could have had such a vehicle on strength for general transport duties. 

Once decaling was complete, I fitted the wheels & exhaust, matt varnished & then did a little weathering with AK Interactiveís dust wash & Mig Pigments sand then, as a final step, fitted the cab glazing.  Obviously Iíd got too many coats of paint on the window surrounds, since none of the glazing would fit, although it fitted perfectly into the as-yet unpainted QLT cab.  I didnít want to have to remove any of the paint, so I gently filed down the windows till they fit. 

With the exception of the large numbers of ejection pin marks, I found this a really nice kit to build & it certainly looks the part when finished.  You only have to compare it with the old QL tanker in the RAF Refuelling Set to see how far Airfix have come in recent years.  I especially liked the wheels & tyres, which have moulded-on flats & square locating pegs on the axles to ensure that they fit with the flat correctly placed. 

John Green


Photos and text © by John Green